Types of Companies in Singapore
Types of Companies in SingaporeUpdated on Thursday 16th September 2021
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Foreign investors have several options to choose from when establishing a company in Singapore. The decision will usually be made by taking into account tax considerations and the requirements when opening certain types of companies. Foreign investors may choose between the simplest partnership forms and other complex structures such as local private companies, local public companies, companies limited by share, companies limited by guarantee, branch offices and representative office. Professionals may also decide to set up sole traders in Singapore.
How to determine the type of structure for your Singapore company
The first step to take when starting a business in Singapore is to decide the type of company one wants to employ. In order to do that, one must know from the beginning how many owners or shareholders the company will have, as the Singapore Commercial Law provides for types of companies suitable for both small and large numbers of shareholders. The initial share capital of the company must also be taken into account upon registration. Planning ahead is essential, as no good enterpriser would start a business without a goal. This is why it is very important to find out as much as possible about the best business forms for your future company in Singapore and this is also why professional help is advised. Moreover, our attorneys in Singapore can provide you with information about the advantages of every type of company.
Partnerships in Singapore
Foreign businessmen can open partnerships in Singapore that are divided into limited partnerships and limited liability partnerships. Investors must know that limited partnerships in Singapore are not considered legal entities. Limited liability partnerships are considered corporate entities and can count up to 20 partners in Singapore. The liability of the partners is limited to the amount of money they have contributed with at the registration of the partnership.
In order to register a company, you can request the legal services of our attorneys in Singapore.
Local companies in Singapore
Companies in Singapore may be registered according to the provisions of the Companies Act that requires at least one resident director. The types of local companies that can be incorporated in Singapore are the company limited by shares, by guarantee or the unlimited company. Companies limited by shares may be 100% foreign owned. The number of shareholders in private limited companies is 50. Another type of Singapore private limited company is the exempt entity that must have at most 20 members, none of them a corporate body and the company’s turnover may not exceed 5 million S$ per year. Please verify the main conditions imposed for a company type, as the rules can vary and this can affect the process of immigration to Singapore when starting a business.
Public companies may be divided into companies limited by share that may have over 50 members. This type of Singapore company must register with ACRA (Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority) before trading its shares on the stock exchange. Singapore companies limited by guarantee are usually incorporated as non-profit organizations (NGOs). For any of the company types registered here, we can help foreign investors when applying for permanent residence in Singapore.
Clients may request the help of our law firm in Singapore in order to decide the best business form for their operations.
Other types of Singapore companies
Other types of companies available for registration in Singapore are the subsidiary, the branch office, the representative office and the sole proprietorship. The subsidiary is a private limited company in which the main shareholder is a foreign company. The subsidiary is the most employed type of business vehicle by small and medium-sized enterprises. The Singapore branch office is registered as an extension of the parent company and it is not a separate legal entity. The Singapore representative office has no legal status and is registered only for marketing or research purposes. The sole trader is the simplest form of doing business in Singapore and is not considered a legal entity.
For information about the requisites for opening a company you can contact our lawyers in Singapore.